tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX September 5, 2010 9:00am-10:00am PST
>> chris: i'm chris wallace. this is "fox news sunday." it was supposed to be the summer of recovery. but in the last three months, the economy has lost more than a quarter million jobs. what's needed to get america back to work? we'll talk stimulus, tax cuts and more with republican senator john mccain, and democratic party chair tim kaine. mccain and kaine, only on "fox news sunday." then labor day marks the traditional start of the fall election campaign. with only 58 days to go, we'll ask our sunday panel how good are republican chances to take back control of congress.
and our power player of the week. the man known simply as "junior." all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again from fox news in washington. on this labor day weekend, the slow recovery and rising unemployment are not just big economic news, but also the central issue in the mid-term elections. we'll talk with democratic party chair tim kaine in a few minutes. but first, republican senator john mccain who joins us from his home state of arizona. senator, president obama is set to announce a new economic plan this week that will reportedly center on tax cuts for business to boost hiring and investment. it sounds like something straight out of the republican play book. what is your reaction? >> well, my reaction is that we always like to see a deathbed conversion, but the fact is if we had done this kind of thing nearly a couple years ago we'd be in a lot better shape.
they're just flailing around. every place i go in my state where people are hurting very badly, one of the major things that small business and large business people tell me is they want some kind of certainty. i run into c.p.a.s that say, "i can't tell my client can exactly what they should do with their money or their future," because nobody knows when the next regulation going to come down, what are the taxes going to be. we tell them small businesses, there is a $600 -- every transaction over $600 now has to be reported to the i.r.s., thanks to obama-care. so, it isn't going to resolve this incredible uncertainty out there that large and small businesses have about their financial future. and so, i hope that they'll do payroll tax cut. but the first thing, the first thing we need to do is extend the tax cuts that are in existence so people have that certainty. >> chris: well, let me ask can
you about that, because the democrats are talking. this is all reportedly at this point. talk about framing it this way: let's end the tax cuts for the wealthy and use that $35 billion instead to have targeted tax cuts for small business that does most of the hiring and for lower income employees. would you support that? >> well, let's get in the old class warfare again. let's get the rich. just extend the tax cuts. then let's talk about the payroll tax holiday, which for small businesses, which is something we have fought for, for a long period of time and pay for it out of the unused stimulus funds, or cut other spending. the american people want us to stop spending. and so, let's just give them some certainty. let's extend the existing tax cuts. and then let's give some more tax breaks to small businesses
and large. and then maybe the american people will have some confidence. they have lost confidence in this administration's ability and this president's ability to get this economy going again. >> chris: do you think if this president announces the kind of economic plan he is talking about this week it's going to have any impact at all, it will help democrats in november? >> i'm doubtful, but the point is that the obama keynesian on steroids has not worked. the economic policies have failed. and we can argue about jobs created, jobs saved, but the fact is when they pass the stimulus package they said unemployment would be maximum of 8%. it's now 9.6%. enough said. we've got to start doing the right things. frankly, that some of our european friends like the conservative government in england is doing. >> chris: the polls and the
pundits seem to agree, this is going to be a very good year for republicans. a couple of questions. first of all, do you think that the g.o.p. will regain control of the senate? and secondly, what kind of party will it be next year? are you comfortable with some of the tea party ideas that would dramatically shrink the size and the scope of the federal government? >> i think we'll do very well. i think that's obvious. the question is: how well do we do? i think we get down to, i believe the republicans have to come up with a contract for, with, of, whatever you want to call it, america. i think a balanced budget amendment. the constitution has to be part of it. elimination of earmarking and pork barrel spending, repeal and replace obama-care. we have to have a short list of promises we'll make the american people and keep it. but i really think that the, that this election could be a seismic election. but we've got to give
americans a reason to be for us, rather than be just against the democrats and the president. the tea partiers are a great addition. the tea parties have invigorated a base that has been dormant for a long period of time. we're going to have a broad array of different views in our republican conference, and i think it might be more interesting than any i've been in, in a long time. >> chris: i just want to get back to this idea, the contract. the house republicans are talking about, i guess they're going to call it a "commitment to america." but senate republicans haven't been talking about that. are you saying senate republicans should come forward with their own affirmative agenda between now and the election? >> i think the senate and house republicans should come forward with an agenda before the election. yes. you know, as much as, as happy as we are about the outcome of the elections, when you look at the approval ratings of republicans they're just as bad as democrats. we have to give them a reason to vote for us. >> chris: let's talk about a
can few specifics that have come out from some member of the house republican caucus, like paul ryan with his roadmap and some of the tea partiers. do you support the idea of allowing those under 55 -- not talking about people near retirement now. allowing people under 55 to put up to a third of their payroll taxes in private accounts? >> frankly, i haven't seen that particular issue and in can that detail, but everybody knows, all americans know that we're going to have to fix social security and medicare. and i notice that the democrats are focussing in and they've, they drove out the tired old, golden oldie that the republicans are going to destroy social security. which by the way, after obama-care, they cut medicare by half a trillion dollars, and also are doing away with medicare advantage. so we don't talk about republicans going to cut medicare. but we need to sit down and we need to do what ronald reagan
and tip o'neil did and come up with a solution. we know we need to do that, but i can't endorse a specific proposal. >> chris: i guess now is as good a time to ask: has john mccain sold his soul to win re-election question that you faced in a tough battle that you had in the republican senate primary in arizona? let's look at the record, sir. you changed your position on "don't ask, don't tell." you went from sponsoring -- >> could i -- >> chris: let me go through the litany and then you can respond. >> sure. >> chris: "don't ask, don't tell." you went from sponsoring legislation to cap green house gases to calling it "cap and tax." you went from sponsoring comprehensive immigration reform to saying build the dang fence. question: you don't see any change, any trimming of your position? >> no, on "don't ask, don't tell" i was always the same. i said we needed a complete review of the impact on morale and battle effectiveness of "don't ask, don't tell" before
we repeal it. that's my position now. now they're trying to ram through a repeal without any kind of really realistic survey done. on climate change i said look, nuclear power has to be part of it. now thanks to harry reid and the radical environmental movement that close yucca mountain, there is no recycling, so nuclear power is basically not viable. on immigration, look, if anybody hasn't seen what is going on south of our border they have been oblivious to the terrible, terrible struggle that's going on down there. 28,000 mexican citizens being killed. murders taking place just south of our border. the invasions and the insecurity and the southern part of our state. of course we've got to get our border secured. anybody who doesn't think so come to arizona and visit the southern part of my state. i'd love for the president to come and visit the border. unfortunately, he hasn't had time to do so. >> chris: let me follow up on this question of immigration, though.
>> sure. >> chris: i want to put up some new numbers. the pew hispanic center had a new study out recently. the annual flow of illegals in to the u.s. is two-thirds smaller than it was five years ago. and the total number of illegals in the u.s. is down 8% from three years ago. so, the question is, senator, whether it's the economy, whether it's increased enforcement, hasn't the obama administration done something right? >> i think there has been something done right. but the fact is that we haven't got a secure border. we need more fence. we need more surveillance capability. and we need more -- actually, we need the guard down there. the violence level -- there were 72 people murdered just recently. 14 of them were women. the incredible violence down there is spilling over on to our side of the border if we don't get our border secured.
and again, anybody who has missed that, they ought to just check in to what has been going on. the people who live in the southern part of my state do not have a secure environment, to wit, there are signs that the government put up that say "warning: you are in a drug smuggling area, and a human smuggling area." the police chief of nogalis, arizona, has been told his police officers will be murdered if they interfere with the drug cartels. that funnel is coming up through the state of arizona. yes, there have been some improvements. we have a long, long way to go. for the federal government to sue the state of arizona because the federal government hasn't carried out its responsibility and the state of arizona is trying to get its border secured is really remarkable. >> chris: senator, we have less than two minutes left and i want to get to one final area with you. >> sure. >> chris: you have been very critical of the president for insisting that u.s. troops will begin to leave afghanistan, begin to leave in
july of 2011, saying that it undercuts the surge. in his speech, the president did emphasize that the pace of the withdrawal will be based on conditions on the ground. just the last couple of days, we've had defense secretary gates say that he sees two to three more years of american combat operations there. does that reassure you at all? >> no, it does not. you cannot tell the enemy you are going to leave and expect the enemy to not, and expect to succeed. that's just a fundamental warfare. no military person advised the president to set 2011. he did it for political reasons, to take care of his left base. no matter what the secretary of defense or anybody else says, the president again reiterated last tuesday night that we would be leaving and that is sending the wrong signals. people in the region, friends and enemies, are accommodating to that situation.
the president needs to say we will be leaving on conditions-based only. and then we will be able to succeed. we will not without the president's saying that, because except for pure political reasons why he said it. that is playing with american lives in a way that i think is absolutely unacceptable. >> chris: senator john mccain, we're going to have to leave it there. we want to thank you so much for spending part of your holiday weekend with us and answering our questions. all the best, sir. >> thank you. >> chris: up next, what about the new democratic plan to boost the economy and keep control of congress? we'll ask tim kaine, chair of the democratic party when we come right back. the democratic party when we come right back.
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>> chris: with the bleak economic news, many experts now predict that democrats are going to get clobbered in the november elections. our next guest is determined to make sure that doesn't happen. joining us is tim kaine, chairman of the democratic national committee. governor, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> great to be with you, as always. >> chris: back in june, the white house said this was going to be recovery summer. here is vice president biden on just that. >> the recovery act is working, but it's going to continue to work. it's not over. a lot is going to happen this summer. and even after the summer, there is more to come with the act.
>> chris: but over the summer, the economy lost 283,000 jobs, g.d.p. growth was just 1.6% in the last quarter, and existing home sales fell 27% in july. question: wasn't recovery summer an economic and political bust? >> chris, they are still challenges out there. too many people are hurting and we have a long way to go. let me throw a couple other facts on there. after nearly 20 months in a row of private sector job lost we have gained jobs in the private sector eight months in a row. there were some net losses over the summer because the census phased out. the private sector is growing again. my hometown paper "richmond times dispatch" has an article this morning about manufacturering being up. the g.d.p. which was shrinking is now growing. not growing fast enough. >> chris: the rate of growth slowed considerably from 5% at the last quarter of 2009 to 1.6% in the second quarter of this year. >> it is -- we got some ways to go. but remember we werehrinking at 6% a year when president
obama took office in g.d.p. so there has been a turn-around from negative to positive. it's clear that we have a longer way to go. the auto industry is hiring again and putting people back to work. i was in indiana last week, and there was excitement about that. so we just got to keep at this. >> chris: are you still calling it "recovery summer"? >> i say we are climbing out of a ditch. climbing up. >> chris: i heard that before. >> we have to keep climbing. yeah, there have been a few of us that have used that. the democrats built the ladder. we built the ladder and we're climbing again. we've got a long way to go as long as people are hurting. this president and this team are going to be focussed on the issue of jobs, but as we're adding private sector jobs now every month we just have to focus on things that will continue that. there is a bill right now pending in the senate to extent lending and other tax credits to small businesses so they can keep hiring. >> the president, we're told, is going to announce if not economic plan a series of measures this week. reportedly he wants to take -- first of all, he wants to make research and development, tax
credits for all business permanent. he also wants to take the $35 billion from letting the bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire and use that instead to give tax cuts to small business and lower income earners. what can you tell us about what he is going to announce this week? >> chris, it's a little bit above my pay grade. i used to say when i was governor, when there is a policy, it will be announced. before it's announced, there is no policy. the president and his team are definitely going to announce steps later this week. they will focus on the small business bill that is pending in the senate right now, increase small businesses in community banks. no capital gains tax for small businesses. but yes, they are talking about other ideas including this research and development tax credit. the american economy has always been the innovator in the world. we're starting to see some tremendous increases in innovation, especially in the clean energy sector, so i know the president wants to continue to give businesses that incentive and continue the innovative research that
powers the economy. >> chris: is part of the argument going to be to try to frame the debate, the republicans want tax cuts for all the wealthy, everyone making over $250,000 a year. we want to target it. >> yes. yeah, you put your finger on it. the democratic strategy has been and it will be discussed in more detail later. let's target the tax credits to middle class folks in small businesses, but especially let's target the tax credits where they will do the most good, and where they will have the most likelihood of increasing economic activity. i saw senator mccain on before me saying that was a bad idea. this is exactly what senator mccain supported in 2003-2004. remember, he voted against the bush tax cuts and he said he wanted to target them toward middle class and small businesses and he said he felt like the tax credit were too heavily weighted to upper end, wealthy. >> chris: if we play history, mccain did say just now that he feels it's a deathbed
conversion. the fact is the republicans were calling for more tax cuts in the first stimulus, including a payroll tax holiday. the democratic majority refused. isn't this too little, too late before the election to try to help democrats? >> chris, i wouldn't see it that way. as you know, in the recovery act when passed, a third of it was tax cuts. it was tax cuts to working americans making less than $250,000. and now there have been eight tax cuts already have that have been given by president and congress to small businesses. the hire act that was passed last spring -- >> chris: but the tax cut was one of the ideas that a lot of republicans had. democrats refused to put it in effect in the first stimulus. >> it was an idea that was considered and not put in effect, that's true. but let's not forget there were numerous tax cuts for small business in the first stimulus. the hire act was a tax credit bill for businesses that hire that was done in the spring. senator mccain did not vote for it. only very few republicans did vote for it. but that was tax credits for
hiring. so the president when he announced the steps, it's not a deathbed conversion. there have been a series of tax cuts for businesses but in looking at the pace of the recovery, thank goodness we're not shrinking, we're growing. the president will announced additional steps to get us growing again. the politics will take care of themselves on this. the issue is we have economy that was shrinking and now growing. what can we do to accelerate the pace of growth? >> chris: you say it's not deathbed conversion but it takes place less than two months before the election. it feels like this is more about the election than the economy. >> here is why i argue with that. you call it a deathbed conversion. >> chris: i didn't. >> somebody would. >> chris: senator mccain did. >> if the president had not been doing targeted tax credit to help small business from the first day he was in office, so there have been eight tax cuts already going to small business. the hiring act was the recent one last spring. folks on the team charted, g.d.p. shrinking, losing 750,000 jobs a month and now
turned to positive. but we all agree we want it to be positive with more acceleration. so at every step along the way, we're going to look to see what we can do more that will be smart to juice this innovation economy that is why america is -- >> chris: you just heard john mccain's position. you're quite right it has changed from 2001 and 2003 on the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. the fact is, a growing number of democrats agree with republicans. it would be a mistake to raise taxes on anyone in the middle of this weak recovery. you're going to be campaigning today with congressman jerry connelly out of virginia. >> out of fairfax, virginia. >> chris: here is what he says. >> raising taxes right now which is effectively what you do when you allow the tax cuts to expire i think does real damage to a fragile economic recovery. >> chris: here is democratic congressman jerry connelly. you'll campaign with him today. >> a good friend. >> chris: he says the democratic leadership in the
white house and in congress, dead wrong. >> here is how i heard that quote. letting all the tax cuts expire might be a problem. that is not what the democrats want to do. they don't want to just let everything expire. they want to let the bush design tax cuts expire and put new tax cuts in place that are targeted for the middle class -- >> chris: he was talking specifically about the tax cuts on the wealthy. >> but again, not just letting the tax cuts expire that the democrats and the white house is talking about. talking about doing additional tax cuts as we have already done for individuals and small businesses but just targeting them. you know the economic argument on this, tax cuts in the middle class and small businesses are the dollars most likely to be spent to spur economic activity. tax cuts to the wealthiest might add to savings which is good in some ways but they won't be spent in a way to address a recovery. >> chris: but you know it's a very large percentage over 50% of all small business income is taxed in those higher personal income rates. >> the figure that i have
heard and, you know, i'm not sitting here with facts and figures is about 3% of american small businesses -- >> chris: 3% of a number of businesses but 50% of the small business income. we can get in the weeds here. >> yeah. >> chris: one could argue that when you raise taxes on the upper income brackets, you're raising taxes on the small business income. >> that's why i don't think the debate should be about expire or no. they should be we let them expire but then we put targeted tax cuts in place. if republicans have ideas about ways to come forward to help small businesses, we'd love to hear them. here is what i know right now, there is a bill spending in the senate to help small businesses that has the support of the u.s. chamber of commerce, the nfib, the national association of small business, and the national association representing community banks. republicans are fill busting are filibustering that bill. we could do it right away because the house already passed it. >> chris: i want to put up
something you said last month about democrats running away from the democratic party. here it is. "democrats who kind of are afraid to be who they are or are pushing back on the leaders, i think they're crazy." governor, i want to show you what some democratic congressmen are putting in their tv ads running for re-election right now. >> it may not be what the washington crowd wants but i don't work for them. i work for you. >> i don't work for nancy pelosi or harry reid or anyone else. i work for you. >> chris: are those democratic congressmen crazy? >> i'm going to stick with what i said earlier. i think if you run away from who you are, that you are a democrat and proud to be a democrat, it's foolish. the reason it's foolish is you've a lot to be proud of. >> chris: when they sit there and say i'm not working for harry reid and pelosi and obama, they're crazy? >> i think it's okay to say my first obligation is to you. >> chris: that's not what they're saying. >> i work for you is what they're saying. that's fine. everybody who runs, that ought to be their attitude, they work for their constituents. people should be happy to be democrats.
we're a happy warrior party. this congress has every reason to be proud of the heavy lifting they've done. john mccain's chief economic advisor mark zandy, they did a report talking about the combination of the steps taken of statewide financial system -- stabilize financial system to bring about economic recovery have done amazing good in taking what was going to be a second depression and got us to growth. admittedly, it's not where we want to us be. but i think democrats should be proud of it and they should be proud of healthcare and two women on the supreme court and 4 million more kids with health insurance. >> chris: most americans are opposed to healthcare reform according to the polls. you are launching a campaign push on wednesday saying that americans turn to democrats in tough times. you are going to look at the historical record. let's look at the poll numbers now. the latest gallup will poll shows republicans with the biggest lead never the generic question: who are you going to vote for in congress?
51-41%. gal lup also found republicans are twice as likely to be very enthusiastic about voting in november than democrats are. do you really this -- i know you are going to do it wednesday. talk about george w. bush or herbert hoover will overcome what people feel? >> most of what i'll talk about is what the democrats have done in the last two years and what they plan to do going forward and contrasting it with what the republicans have said they will do. it's not a backward looking speech. it's primarily a forward looking one. because americans have a choice to make in november. they can pick the team that is doing the heavy lifting at tough times to take a shrinking economy and get it growing again or pick a team that has been standing in the way and that is pledging to do things, you know -- social security is a ponzi scheme. there are ten or 15 candidates on the republican side running using that phrase. they are not thinking of it on their own. there is a concerted effort on the other side to take the underpinnings out of the critical part of the safety net for american seniors. we're going to point that out.
>> chris: 30 seconds here, smart politician. >> i don't know about that. >> chris: the last few years when you see a ten-point gap in the generic poll, and 2-1 gap in the enthusiasm poll, you're in trouble. the democrats up in a generic poll. i'll admit the polls are challenging right now. they have been challenging for other democratic leaders in the past. we believe if you just do the right things over time, they are going to work. i know as i travel around the country and go race to race, generic is one thing. race to race, the republicans are putting up candidates that are quite far out of the main stream in terms of should we have passed the civil rights act or the social security need to exist? we're going to win some surprising races because of who the other guys put up. it will be challenging out there but it's on the field when we win races and we feel good about it. >> chris: governor kaine, we want to thank you for coming in, especially on the holiday weekend. please come back, sir. >> i will. >> chris: up next, the president vows to take action next week on the economy. will it be enough to save democrats in november?
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the economy is moving in a positive direction. jobs are being created. they're just not being created as fast as they need to, given the big hole that we experienced. >> chris: that was president obama on friday trying to put the best spin possible on another weak jobs report. it's time for our sunday group. stephen hayes, "the weekly standard." mara liasson of national public radio. fox news digital politics editor, chris stirewalt, a panel first-timer. and juan williams, also from national public radio. so, as we've been saying, the president is going to announce something of a new economic plan this week, apparently focussing on tax cuts for business. steve, is it more about politics, or the economy and how much do you think it will actually help democrats in
november? >> it's far more about politics. i think the white house feels like it needs to have something to campaign on, something to give vulnerable congressional democrats to run on. so this is what they settled on. i think it's far too late to have much effect on the economy, so they hope to be making a political argument. but what was most interesting i thought in your interview with tim kaine if i heard him correctly he said there have been eight tax cuts targeted to small businesses and he says we need a ninth. the white house saying we need a ninth, because this one is going to work where all the others haven't succeeded. if you look at what the president said, the economy is moving in the right direction, one of the lines you'll likely see in the republican ads throughout the fall. it's not moving in the right direction. g.d.p. growth is going in the opposite direction of the way everybody wants it to be going. for him to say this at this time, suggests he's out of touch that will resonate in the fall. >> chris: mara, given the parameters and given how bleak the political and economic news looks, why announce a series of economic
ideas? and i think plan is overstated but a series of ideas this week. >> i think that he really has to do it. i think there is number one, a question whether he can get anything passed before november. and number two, even if it does pass, will vit an effect before november? i think both of those are big question marks. i think these kind of targeted tax rates might help over time. i don't know if they'll help enough. but i think the democrats need to have something to go home and talk about. economists do agree that targeted tax breaks designed to help people hire and spend could make a difference. the problem is that the entire plan "a" for the white house, which was to have economic growth going in the right direction, the green shoots of spring were going to continue didn't work out. they're kind of left without an economic message. it's not a good idea to go out there and tell people things are really better than they think. that is always a mistake. even though they probably are better than they might have been. but i think he does have to have something. there is going be another huge debate this fall, which
of course is about the bush tax cuts expiring. there i think the white house actually has a better message. >> chris: and let's get to that, chris. if democrats are able to frame the debate as look, the republicans want to keep the tax cuts for the wealthy. anybody making over $250,000 a year, we want to take that money and target it to small businesses. target it to lower income workers. if they frame the debate that way, can they make it work for them? >> i think the overall problem is that it's too late. i think that the calendar tells us that it's too late to remessage again. i think the president is very eager to change the discussion back to the economy. i think you saw in his oval office address on iraq sort of an ungamely pivot to the economy trying to talk about the foreign policy and the economy simultaneously. it's emblematic of a larger problem, which is, it's very late to pivot and very late to change. if you look at chris van
holland and other democrats admitting there are going to be seats they are going to have to lose and they'll have to cut members off, that they'll basically have to let the guys fry, that is an indication no matter what the talking points are, there is a deeper understanding that this climate is very, very bad for the incumbent party. >> chris: juan? >> well, i think i want to pick up on what john mccain said to you earlier, chris, which is it's time for republicans to put up or shut up. where are the republican ideas? you had a group of republicans, young republicans in the house put out a book this week, no new ideas, saying here is what we would do that is different. when you hear from president obama as we did yesterday in his radio/internet address he says look, we have had eight months of growth in terms of job creation. the numbers would have been better this last report -- >> chris: private, private sector. >> total job creation. >> chris: the economy lost 283,000 jobs in recovery summer. >> do you realize we were losing per month about 750,000 jobs when president obama came in to office?
>> chris: that's something -- >> no, no. i'm just saying that it's hard to say we're doing better, but we're not doing great. it's worth saying the white house lost control of the narrative saying here is what we're actually doing. we were in a deep hole and we're coming out. i don't think the president, i don't think the federal reserve has total control over the economy. i think some responsibility has to be put on people who are running business in this country and sitting on capital. banks are choosing not to make loans. but instead, the republicans as the party of no are somehow saying give more money to on the rich. that's a great idea, even though we know extending the tax cut for the wealthiest in this country are not effective stimulus plans in terms of creating jobs. >> chris: steve, juan says well, we have to also blame the business for not investing and hiring. i suspect they would say it's because of washington that we're not doing that. >> business wants to make
money, right? it made sense for them to hire at this point they would do it. they would love to be hiring right now. but they can't. the reason they point to is "a," sales. they can't sell thing. sales are down. "b," economic uncertainty. 22% of businesses, small business own to er -- business owners surveyed said this is one of the main reason. even in a credit crisis with the small businesses, they don't point to that as the chief reason they're not hiring. look, the big problem here is not a messaging problem as juan suggests. it's a substance problem. it's not working. the president had 19 months. it's his trillion-dollar stimulus plan. he did it with no input from republicans whatsoever. and it has failed. that is the problem. you can't run on that. >> chris: meanwhile, mara, as we've been pointing out with both john mccain and tim kaine, the polling just looks terrible. i mean you've got this generic poll. the first time in the history of gallup will that the republicans lead on the generic question: are you going to vote for republican
or democrat for congress in your district? republican leads by ten points, 51-41. are you enthusiastic about voting? republicans -- how bad is that? >> it's very bad. the last time we had a battleground poll, 70 districts most likely to change hands we came out with a 30-seat loss minimum for democrats. that was several months ago. now a lot of the analysts put it at 35. 39 is what they need to take control. the task for democrats now is to see if through a lot of money, and a very good ground game can they help just enough democrats survive this huge anti-democratic tsunami that is coming. now we are going to test that thesis. can individual seats matter to hang on to control of the house and senate? >> chris: we're talking about chris van holland, the head
of the democratic congressional campaign committee, the guy who has to make decisions where are they going to put money and resources. there is a story today in the paper that indicates exactly as you suggested. they may have to make the decision. yeah, you're a democratic incumbent and maybe you've been here for a long time but we're going to cut you loose because we have limited resources and we're going to try to get to 218 to keep control. >> if i was a democrat, the poll numbers that would be most concerning to me would not be the generic ballot. it would be the swing against the president's national healthcare plan. i have would be most alarmed at the big seven or eight-point swing that you saw over the summer where people who had softened on obama-care snapped back the other way and suddenly say you know what? on second thought, i don't like it. that's even in the kaiser poll that's the most friendly -- >> chris: why does that concern you most? >> the reason it concerns me most if i'm a democrat is they're afraid you're in the wrong place and talking about the wrong things. economy is baked in the cake. people think if the democrats
took their eye off the ball and don't like the healthcare plan, that means it's stepping up and stepping out and will continue to be an issue this fall. >> chris: all right. we have to take a break here. when we come back, the president dealt with iraq, afghanistan, and peace in the middle east this week. we'll ask the panel how he di hey what's going on? doing the shipping. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way. yes way, no weigh. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. (voice 2) how bad is it? (voice 1) traffic's off the chart... (voice 2) they're pinging more targets... (voice 3) isolate... prevent damage...
the most certain task is restore our economy and put millions of americans who lost their jobs back to work. it must be our central mission as a people. and my central responsibility as president. >> that was president obama in his oval office address on iraq telling americans it's time to turn the page. and we're back now with our panel. i have to say, as i heard it, i was shocked. as i hear it again, i'm shocked. here is the president in the middle of the speech about iraq and afghanistan in that forum saying his central responsibility as president is to restore the economy. juan? >> i think he is right to do so. that's what the american people are concerned about and what all the polls show. i think what he is doing is effectively drawing a connection between the tremendous investment we have made not only in terms of american life in terms of blood lost, but in terms of our economy, in terms of putting dollars on the table to help out in iraq and to help out in afghanistan and saying some of that money can
be repositioned now to help stimulate the economy at home. i think he has got to hold american support for the ongoing effort especially in afghanistan. i think general petraeus is pretty much on a p.r. to offensive to try to build american support for this, because he realizes domestic support for the war is pretty low. so what we've got is a situation where the president i think is connecting the dots for people listening and doing so in a way to say if we succeed in afghanistan we can get out and come back home and put the same effort in rebuilding the u.s. economy. >> chris: but steve, in that speech, to say my central mission is to restore the economy, is it unfair to say that this is a president whose heart doesn't seem to be in winning the war on terror no matter what it costs? >> no, i think it's not at all unfair. i think the reason you can say that, if you look at his inaugural address, the key paragraph is where he describes the crisis now well
understood. in that paragraph he mentions in one sentence the war on terror and then he goes on to give a litany of economic domestic policy problems. he talks about schools, he talks about healthcare, he talks about job losses, he talks about homes. this is how the president thinks. so a certain extent there is no question this was driven by polls and the potential that people perceive him as focussed on afghanistan or he is talking too much about other things, not the economy. he wanted to talk about the economy. more fundamentally, this is how the president thinks, for better or worse. >> chris: do you agree with that? i mean, there is a narrative out there, right or wrong, that this is a president who really cares about domestic issues, about domestic transformation and that to some degree -- look, he has had more drone attacks than george w. bush did in his eight years. but that to some degree he views this foreign stuff as a distraction. >> you know, i think that he's right where the american public is. i don't think the american public wants to lose the war
in afghanistan or iraq. but they are most, first and foremost concerned about the economy. i think that it's fair to say that his great vision was about domestic policy, not foreign policy. however, since he came in to office, regardless of what he promised in the campaign, i think he has acted responsibly and correctly on iraq and afghanistan. and i think he will continue to do so, even if it's reluctant. the fact is that you said he ordered more predator drones, ordered a surge in afghanistan, modelled as he described on tuesday on the surge in iraq which he described as success. never going to go far enough to say to the republicans i was wrong about the surge and i changed my mind, but the fact is he continued the bush policy in iraq and it's paying off and he is doing the same thing in afghanistan. >> chris: chris? >> look, i think from a political stand point, the paragraphs about the economy in that speech felt unintend -- that was an unintended consequence of low polls. and i think for everything
this administration is doing was predicated on the belief that you would have 3-4% reliable economic growth by this point and the president could be talking about other things. because he does like to talk about other things. he likes to take glancing blows off different issues and do a week on foreign policy and do a week on this or a week on that. they're finding they have to remake their whole agenda late in the game. the president is calling an audible on the economy and says okay, everything is about the economy. we're going to talk about the war in iraq and afghanistan. well, that's about the economy, too. not everything is about the economy. but i think it's a reference and a clear point that they are very, very concerned. >> chris: steve, then there are the continuing mixed messages about afghanistan. the president said that the pace of withdrawal will be based on conditions on the ground. in almost the next sentence he said this: this transition will begin because open-ended war serves neither our interest nor the afghan
people's. then on the third hand, you have secretary gates in the last couple of days saying the u.s. combat roll in afghanistan will continue two to three more years. what is the bottom line? >> this is the problem. to go to the third hand and then the fourth hand, this will be an octopus. this is their problem. they're sending mixed messages. it doesn't matter what robert gates says in a speech he's giving. the people in the region aren't necessarily hearing. they're paying attention to the president. go back to the speech in 2009 when he announced the afghan policy he said the same thing. he did exactly that. he said we're there to win and increase troops. the next sentence he pivoted and made the opposite argument. but we're leaving in july of 2011. if he doesn't renounce the deadline, everything else is details at this point. he needs to do it and he needs to do it soon or we're in real trouble. >> if he announces a deadline, the american people go bananas. are you kidding me? listen, we have ongoing
commitment, both on iraq i might add on the speech where he said we have a large contingent to stay on the ground, 50,000 people. plus we have a diplomatic effort and we'll ramp that up. the same thing in afghanistan. everybody, the military people, petraeus, gates and the president have said if anybody thinks we're cutting and running, they're crazy. >> no, but it's less about what the american people think and more about winning the war. the way to win the war is tell your enemies -- [ overtalk ] >> the american people think of war? >> no, it's less what the american people think than it does what the enemy think. in terms of winning the war. what matters most is not a poll about the public opinion about afghanistan. it's whether we win or lose the war. >> i only have one other thing to say about this president who supposedly just wants to do domestic affairs. this is a tax on foreign policy and he has middle east peace talk starting again which he and his negotiators worked on to do for the last 18 months, and i think he is
pretty tenacious. he hasn't given up on these things. he's certainly not giving up on the middle east peace process even though the chances for success there are very, very slim. >> chris: panel, we have to leave it there. thank you, all. see you next week. check out the latest edition of panel plus where the group picks right up with the discussion at foxnewssunday.com. we promise we will post the video before noon eastern time. well, not surprisingly, we got a flood of comments on the wallace watch with the interview with glenn beck after the rally in washington. sheryl wrote -- but barbara lowe felt very differently -- please keep your comments coming to foxnewssunday.com. up next, our power player of the week. ♪
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>> chris: there are a number of superstars in sports, but few hold on to their devoted fans regardless of how they do in competition. as we first reported last february, one of the exceptions is our power player of the week. >> when you actually are successful and pass someone, it's all macho, you know. >> chris: dale earnhardt jr., describing the thrill of nascar. >> let's go racing, boys! >> chris: the sport brought his family tremendous highs and lows and won the loyalty of racecar fans. seven-time nas carr's most popular driver you've been voted. what does it mean to you? >> i followed in my father's footsteps coming in to racing so i give him a lot of credit as far as our, my popularity obviously. i was popular before i ever did anything on the racetrack. >> chris: his father dale earnhardt was a legend, who won 76 races and whose
aggressive style earned him the nickname "the intimidator." until he died in a last-lap crash in the 2001 daytona 500. we got to meet dale junior when he came to washington to promote the national guard's youth challenge program. >> to me the true stars are the cadets themselves. i listen. >> chris: it's a 17-month course that gives high school dropouts a second chance to earn a diploma. over the last two decades, more than 90,000 teens have completed the program. >> when you deal with young kids, a lot of the problems are not of their doing. it's the environment they're in or some decision that someone before them made. >> chris: but we also wanted to discuss his life. let me ask a personal question i get asked a lot. is it a blessing or a burden to be dale earnhardt's kid? >> the blessings far outweigh the burdens.
it's tough following in those footsteps and having to live up to those comparisons. but i've been pretty fortunate, so i feel pretty lucky. >> chris: lucky or good, dale junior started fast. winning 18 races, including his own daytona 500 in 2004. >> dale earnhardt jr. wins the daytona 500! >> i'm like man, i'm taking the world by storm and i'm going to be on top of this sport for years to years. watch out! >> chris: but the last few years have been tough. just one win since june 2008. >> you know, it's hard to explain slumps to people. >> chris: still, earnhardt's second-place finish this year at daytona gave him and his legion of fans reason to hope. >> i feel like we're on the up-swing for sure. my cars are prepared better and they're more comfortable to me this year. >> chris: what are his goals now? >> i'm basically racing now because it's been working a day job but i want to win a championship. off the track, i hope to have children one day. >> chris: would you name them
dale earnhardt iii? >> i doubt it. i don't think i would. juniors are okay, but the third, i'm not sure that i would want to put him that position to have to follow both of us. >> chris: in the meantime, dale junior just wants to enjoy what he calls the nascar fraternity. >> you're one of 43 guys out of this entire country that get to show up and do this each week at the top level of motor sports in america. >> chris: earnhardt has still not won since our story first aired, but he is racing tonight in atlanta. go, junior! that's it for today. have a great labor day holiday. we'll see you next "fox news holiday. we'll see you next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc
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